Seas of Ashur
Setting and Geography
There are thousands of islands in Ashur, some inhabited and others not. The inhabited islands range from large cities to tiny farming colonies. There are no real empires, and all countries are currently on fairly good terms with each other though there has been tension in the past.
The 4 largest islands form 4 countries, each with a unique culture. There are several smaller holdings, but these 4 are the most powerful. These nations comprise of their home island as well as many smaller islands scattered across their territory.
Anu- The most powerful of the nations, it is also the most shady. There is a strict caste system, with the rulers of the country safely sequestered away from the slums of the commonors. The Anu army is not as technologically advanced as Enlil’s or as disciplined as Utu’s, but does have the advantage in numbers. Anu is comprised mostly of plains with frequent rainstorms and is ruled by the Human Louis Ulthar. Races: Mostly Human with a smattering of Halfing and Dwarf.
Sherida- A wooded nation, the people of Sherida pride themselves in their ability as navigators. It’s often said that a Sheridan could pilot a ship to hell and back. The Sheridans also have a deep love for nature and are free spirits, anything goes in Sherida. In distant times, they were often in conflict with Utu because they were situated so close together and their personalities were so conflicting. However, after a bloody war some 500 years ago the two nations have a mutual respect. Just don’t expect any citizens to become drinking buddies. Sherida is ruled by the Elf King Beren Frey. Races: Elf, Half-Elf, Eladrin, and some Human.
Utu- A nation that prides itself on strict law and order. Lawbreakers are punished severely and all efforts are made to keep the peace. Citizens of Utu pride themselves on never breaking a promise and upholding their honor at all costs. The Utu military is known for it’s strict warrior code, ruthless efficiency, and dedication to upholding justice. However, Utu justice may differ from other culture’s views on the subject. Utu is mainly comprised of desert, with the capital city situated in the middle of an oasis near the coast. Utu is ruled by the Dragonborn paladin Justitia Ladon. Races: Humans and Dragonborn form the majority, with a couple of Tieflings.
Enlil- This mountainous region is also the most technologically advanced and are master shipwrights. A popular saying in Ashur is that “If it’s made in Enlil, the Gods themselves couldn’t sink it.” Whether or not this tempts fate is a question left for the scholars, but Enlilians take pride in their craftsmen ship. Enlil has all of it’s main cities situated on the coast, and the interior of the island is taken up by a massive volcano. Enlil is ruled by the Dwarf Kotar Hadur. Races: Mostly Dwarf and Elf, with a sizable population of Halfing and Human.
Other races can come from any of the smaller islands, or they can be a minority in any nation.
Several small islands of note-
Varuna- The Port of Riches. Small port island that is situated near the center of the ocean. It is a bustling town of trade that is ruled with an iron fist by a powerful pirate, Lord Njord. However, he attempts to keep order as best he can. Not that he cares for petty stealing, but don’t pull anything too big if you don’t want to face his wrath.
Manawydan- The City of Darkness. Since it is located so far north, the island is dark for long stretches of the year. A cold and desolate place, it has gained fame for its academy for bards that has produced several legendary bards that went on to captain famous crews, compose epic verses, and generally enjoy life. The King of this island is the Human bard Frigg Bragi, who in his youth traveled the entire world in search of songs and knowledge of the fall of Assur.
Llŷr- The Arcane Isle. One of the strongholds of magical power left in Ashur, it serves as an academy for all sorts of arcane arts. Entrance exams are given at the 4 nations and several of the smaller isles once a year. The Academy is headed by the Eladrin wizard Ningirama who slew a powerful lich to gain control of the island. The most powerful mages in all of the world have graduated from its academy.
Assur- The Forbidden Land. The ruins of the ancient city of Assur still stand proud, covered by an unatural darkness from the final battle between the ancient mages and the demon at the time of the Fracturing. The island is infested with all sorts of unnatural beasts that have been drawn to the dark energies that remain trapped within Assur’s walls. Where there is danger, however, there is rewards. The treasures of Assur still remain, mostly because no one is stupid enough to go looking for them.
Noblac- Prison Island. This capitalistic enterprise is run by the famous Halfing rogue, Jack Zaybak. The 4 nations all have a fairly standard set of laws regarding conduct on the seas, with a few key differences, and they all have contracts with Jack’s prison on Noblac. However, other islands, townships, and individuals contract with Jack to store dangerous prisoners on his isle for a set amount of time for some coin. The island prides itself on upholding its bargains, it will never betray a contract as long as the other side upholds their end so their is no hope of a prisoner bribing their way out.
The Floating Lands- Not an island, exactly, but a mass of boats several miles wide lashed together. This quasi-nation came around 2000 years ago, and has vastly grown in size from its humble origins as a bunch of fishermen who banded together to protect against sea monsters. This community has boats of every shape and size in its vast mazes that work together to create a vibrant economy of entertainment, trade, and shipwrights. It’s rumored that the original boats hidden somewhere deep in the heart of the flotilla still carry some of the magic of old Ashur with them. Non-magical fire is punishable by death on the spot, and order is kept by the iron fist of the Tiefling warlock Rán Zeno. The Floating Lands is a democracy, odd in Ashur, and elections are held every 5 years. However, Rán is so beloved that it is unlikely that she will ever be deposed.